Archive by Author | plerudulier

23 Million Bike Share Rides in America: Zero Fatalities [alternet.org]

As another summer winds down, Reuters brings us some encouraging news about America’s  growing fleet of bike share systems: They continue to be popular, environmentally friendly and  not even the least bit deadly.

It’s the best albeit still anecdotal evidence we’ve got to prove that expanding the public’s access to bikes isn’t the harbinger of the apocalypse  some predicted. Since the first system opened in Tulsa in 2007, 35 other cities have jumped on the bandwagon, their denizens pedaling through a combined 23 million trips. And in all that time, so far as anyone’s been able to tell, they’ve yet to cause even one death.

via 23 Million Bike Share Rides in America: Zero Fatalities | Alternet.

Critics Blame Airbnb For San Francisco’s Housing Problems [npr.org]

Online rental brokers like Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey in San Francisco may be finding some success renting to visitors on a nightly basis, but people concerned about a shrinking rental market have turned to legal action and protests.

In the city’s North Beach neighborhood, for example, protesters recently gathered around a three-unit apartment with flats an online broker rents to vacationers. This used to be the rent-controlled home of elderly tenants until out-of-town investors bought the building and evicted the residents.

Ted Gullicksen of the San Francisco Tenants Union says those units were added to the 7,500 or so available to tourists in San Francisco using sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

via Critics Blame Airbnb For San Francisco’s Housing Problems : NPR.

BBC News – Great Art? The graffiti of the New York subway – [bbc.com]

Forty years ago author Norman Mailer published an essay in which he declared the graffiti of the New York subway to be “The Great Art of the 70s”. But what happened to the artists and why is there no subway graffiti any more?

It started with someone just writing their name – someone saw that, and added on to it,” recalls New York graffiti artist Nicer, born Hector Nazario.

Letters going in front of letters, coming back through a letter, behind a letter, going across a letter… the subways became our playground,” adds Riff170.

New York in 1974 was a city in crisis.

The Mayor, Abe Beame, slashed the city’s budget in a bid to stave off bankruptcy, which meant laying off school teachers, police officers and subway staff.

They was taking the money from the schools, there was a lot of corruption here, in this community, and so they took the after-school programmes away, and there was no outlets for this. So the outlet became our city,” says Bronx-born designer Eric Orr. “And for the artist guys, those type of creative guys, it became the paint, the aerosol and the marker.”

It was like an explosion. The graffiti explosion. All of a sudden it took over the whole city. I don’t know what happened, but overnight in the early 70s it was from no graffiti to all graffiti,” says another former artist, Flint Gennari.

via BBC News – Great Art? The graffiti of the New York subway.

A New Report Argues Inequality Is Causing Slower Growth. Here’s Why It Matters. – [NYTimes.com]

Is income inequality holding back the United States economy? A new report argues that it is, that an unequal distribution in incomes is making it harder for the nation to recover from the recession and achieve the kind of growth that was commonplace in decades past.

The report is interesting not because it offers some novel analytical approach or crunches previously unknown data. Rather, it has to do with who produced it, which says a lot about how the discussion over inequality is evolving.

Economists at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services are the authors of the straightforwardly titled “How Increasing Inequality is Dampening U.S. Economic Growth, and Possible Ways to Change the Tide.” The fact that S.&P., an apolitical organization that aims to produce reliable research for bond investors and others, is raising alarms about the risks that emerge from income inequality is a small but important sign of how a debate that has been largely confined to the academic world and left-of-center political circles is becoming more mainstream.

via A New Report Argues Inequality Is Causing Slower Growth. Here’s Why It Matters. – NYTimes.com.

Getting Orwell Wrong

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

I was ready to come to Amazon’s defense (and I will, eventually). In their long letter to the writing community, they made some excellent points. They inflamed our passions, gave us historical context for our discontent, and then quoted none other than George Orwell on the disruptive nature of paperbacks and the need for evil publishers to crack down on upstart, low-priced alternatives.

In the opening paragraph of the letter, Amazon notes the rise of paperbacks and how publishers wailed and gnashed their teeth at the prospect of selling their precious content at lower prices. The colluded. They flailed. Even George Orwell came to their defense. The “Amazon Books Team,” an Orwellian monicker if there ever was one, writes:

The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George…

View original 665 more words

Almost one in six doctor visits will be virtual this year – [computerworld.com.au]

With an aging Baby Boomer population and broadband bandwidth improved a hundredfold from a decade ago, telemedicine is exploding as a convenient and less costly alternative to the traditional visit to the doctors’ office.

This year in the U.S. and Canada, 75 million of 600 million appointments with general practitioners will involve electronic visits, or eVisits, according to new research from Deloitte.

The overall cost of in-person primary physician visits worldwide is $175 billion, according to Deloitte. Globally, the number of eVisits will climb to 100 million this year, potentially saving over $5 billion when compared to the cost of in-person doctor visits. The eVisit projection represents growth of 400% from 2012 levels, Deloitte’s study showed.

Last November, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center UPMC revamped its patient portal, renaming it MyUPMC, and rolling out AnywhereCare, offering patients throughout Pennsylvania eVisits with doctors 24 hoirs a day, seven days a week either over the phone or through video conferencing.

via Almost one in six doctor visits will be virtual this year – Computerworld.

Wireless Charging, at a Distance, Moves Forward for uBeam [NYTimes.com]

LOS ANGELES

When Meredith Perry, 25, started studying astrobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, her career goal was to eventually find life on other planets. Instead, Ms. Perry accidentally stumbled upon something even more exciting: the ability to charge portable electronics, like cellphones and laptops, wirelessly using ultrasound.

To do this, Ms. Perry created a technology that can take electricity, convert it into sound and send that audio through the air over ultrasound. Then a receiver attached to a portable electronic device catches the sound and converts it back into electricity.

The technology makes it possible for a device to move freely around a room, in a pocket or purse, while constantly charging.

via Wireless Charging, at a Distance, Moves Forward for uBeam – NYTimes.com.

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